Hottest consumer electronics trends in 2010

Bigger and better TVs, wireless internet access, digital video recorders, MP3 players and the Apple iPad are the hottest trends in the consumer electronics market in 2010.

Products in these categories are becoming "must-haves" in US households says market researcher Nielsen in a September 30 report on home technology trends.

"As Americans' voracious appetite for home entertainment and technology continues to expand and evolve, so do the devices, gadgets and accoutrements to support the craving," says Nielsen.  

The race to have the biggest and best TV on the block has seen HDTV set purchases increase by 26.9 percent in the last two years.

Sales of LCD flat screens have jumped up by a huge 48.2 percent.

The trend is set to continue as consumers fit out their in-home theaters with high-resolution TV screens larger than 41 inches. Sales of 3D TVs will also drive the market in the coming years.  

TV viewing habits are changing in the US too. "Demanding schedules have made time-shifted viewing a must-have for 40% of US homes who currently have a DVR device," reveals Nielsen.

Digital Video Recorders, or DVRs, enable consumers to choose when they watch their favorite TV shows. During the first quarter of 2010, DVR adoption increased by 14.5 percent.

Consumers' changing views on broadband access have seen high-speed internet connectivity shift from a luxury to a necessity: 85.3 percent of Americans are now connected to the internet at home and/or at work.

New broadband connections in the home are steadily rising in the US with a 3.8 percent increase seen between the first and second quarters of 2010. Wireless internet connections are on the rise too, up 24 percent over the last two years.

Mp3 players are still bringing in the big bucks for consumer electronics makers - especially when the manufacturer's name is Apple. Forty-six percent of all US homes have at least one mp3 player (63 percent of which are iPods).   

Apple is also dominating the tablet market in the US. Nielsen reports that around 3.6 percent of US homes have an iPad in them.

While consumers go crazy over bigger TVs, internet, DVRs and iPads, electronic makers are watching some of yesterday's hot products drop off the radar.

Yesterday's trends are becoming obsolete in today's fast-paced, technology-centric world. Satellite radio, video cassette recorders (VCRs), digital video disk players (DVD players) and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are all seeing steady market share decline as they are replaced by new technologies.

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